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BoooBooo : The Critical Health Test Every Woman Should Have

Many women are leery of pap smears and put them off as long as possible, especially if they aren’t having any physical symptoms of a problem. But waiting for symptoms to show up could be deadly.

Every woman who has ever been to a doctor for a physical has been asked, 'When was your last pap smear?' Although it’s not the most pleasant test in the world, a pap smear can save your life. This quick and relatively painless test can help prevent the onslaught of serious diseases.

Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). The virus infects the skin and mucous membranes. There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genitals, but you cannot see HPV. Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it; they do not develop symptoms or health problems. But sometimes, certain types of HPV can cause cervical cancer and other less common cancers. HPV types are often referred to as 'low-risk' or 'high-risk' based on whether they put a person at risk for cancer. In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears the HPV infection naturally within two years. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, but a person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sex. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus to a sex partner.

Chlamydia is especially dangerous for women if it is not treated. It is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States. An estimated 2.8 million Americans get chlamydia each year. Women are often reinfected, meaning they get the STD again if their sexual partners are not treated. Reinfections place women at higher risk for serious reproductive health complications, including infertility. Chlamydia is known as a 'silent' disease because 75% of infected women and at least half of infected men have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks of exposure, so the infection is often not diagnosed or treated until there are complications.

Trichomoniasis is a common STD that affects both women and men, although symptoms are more common in women. Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD in young, sexually active women. An estimated 7.4 million new cases occur each year in women, and symptoms usually don’t appear until 5 to 28 days after exposure. The disease can be treated with prescription drugs, but having trichomoniasis once does not protect a person from getting it again. Following successful treatment, people can still be susceptible to re-infection.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a general term that refers to infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and other reproductive organs. It is a common and serious complication of some STDs, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and tissues in and near the uterus and ovaries. PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside of the womb), abscess formation, and chronic pelvic pain. Each year in the United States, it is estimated that more than 1 million women experience an episode of acute PID. More than 100,000 women become infertile each year as a result of PID, and a large proportion of the ectopic pregnancies occurring every year are due to the consequences of PID.

These diseases and many others can be discovered before they ruin your life. Just a few minutes in the doctor’s office, a little bit of discomfort, and a few days waiting for test results is well worth it.
 
  booobooo on 2009-08-23
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Important
Information given in this forum is given by way of exchange of views only, and those views are not necessarily those of ABC Homeopathy. It is not to be treated as a medical diagnosis or prescription, and should not be used as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified homeopath or physician. It is possible that advice given here may be dangerous, and you should make your own checks that it is safe. If symptoms persist, seek professional medical attention. Bear in mind that even minor symptoms can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and a timely diagnosis by your doctor could save your life.